Emerald Ash Borer | Des Moines, Iowa

What Does The Emerald Ash Borer Look Like?

Also known as the Jewel Beetle, the Emerald Ash Borer feeds on Ash species of trees. This destructive beetle is native to northeastern Asia and has made its way to America with its core population in Michigan and surrounding states. Emerald ash borer adults tend to be metallic green in color, slender and flat beetles that grow to approximately 1/2 inch long.

Where Does The Emerald Ash Borer Get Its Name?

Emerald ash borers are known as wood boring insects. However, what sets the emerald ash borer apart from other wood boring insects is their tendency to attack native and newly introduced ash trees. The species typically chooses ash trees that have already begun to deteriorate and will begin to burrow just under the bark of the tree throughout the winter and then chew their way out in early June.

How Long Does The Emerald Ash Borer Typically Live?

The emerald ash borer is known to have a one or two-year life cycle. Adult ash borers begin to emerge in mid-spring and peak in early summer. It is a couple of weeks after emerging that the female emerald ash borers will begin to lay their eggs into the bark of the selected ash tree. Once born, the new larvae will begin to feed for several weeks under the tree bark.

Where Are Emerald Ash Borers Typically Found?

Along with other Midwestern states, Iowa has fallen victim to emerald ash borer infestations. Though these wood boring insects are not as common in urban or residential areas, an infestation can still occur.

What Are The Signs of an Emerald Ash Borer Infestation?

The way to identify an ash tree that has been infested with emerald ash borers is to observe wilting and dying of the upper crown of the tree. Upon closer examination, the ash tree may reveal bumps and ridges on the branches and limbs, as well as possible 'D' shaped holes in the bark where the emerald ash borer adults emerge.

When the bark is removed as a result of the copious amounts of ridges that appear, you'll see irregular and winding tunnels known as galleries. These tunnels are made from the larva excavating the plant material between the wood and bark. These wood-boring insects tend to attack the crown of the tree first and continue to tunnel through the tree, ultimately killing it.

How Do You Protect Ash Trees From Emerald Ash Borers?

Communities such as Johnston and Des Moines are extremely proactive in saving the 'high impact' ash trees that are in good health and structure around the Des Moines metro. Emerald ash borer treatment for the Des Moines metro includes treating approximately 5,800 of those 'high impact' ash trees as well as evaluating if they are able to be preserved or need to be removed.

To keep your ash trees healthy and thriving, contact a licensed tree care company treat your ash trees to prevent wood boring insects such as emerald ash borer. It is important for emerald ash borer treatment to happen prior to hatching season to ensure the new larvae do not successfully chew their way through the wood of the tree.